A woman accused of theft of livestock failed to show for a Wednesday, Sept. 13 hearing before 2nd 25th Judge Jessica Crawford and is now the subject of an arrest warrant.
Meanwhile, in other court action, one Gonzales County resident was sentenced to 15 years in prison for six counts possession with intent to promote child pornography while another resident received five years deferred adjudication for an aggravated assault incident from nearly two years ago.
Brittani Danielle Banks, 29, of Gonzales was due to appear in court before Crawford for her arraignment a third-degree felony charge of theft of cattle/horse/exotic livestock less than $150,000 in value dating back to Nov. 1, 2021. She was originally arrested on the charge on Oct. 21, 2022, and released on $15,000 bond.
She not do so nor did she advise the court she would be unable to attend. That same day, a failure to appear warrant was issued for Banks.
Last October, a GCSO deputy submitted a probable cause affidavit to Judge William Old, who issued a search warrant, while Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jesse Almaraz issued a seizure warrant and notice of hearing for 12 horses, two pigs and a dairy cow that were under Banks’ care.
On Nov. 18, 2022, following a two-hour hearing, Gonzales County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Deidra Voigt found that Banks had “cruelly treated the animals” and ordered that individual be divested of all ownership interest and right to the animals. Five horses were returned to their rightful owners, with the remaining horses and livestock ordered to be “given to a nonprofit animal shelter, pound or society for the protection of animals” after being examined by a licensed veterinarian.
Voigt found Banks liable to pay $4,195 in estimated costs incurred by GCSO for care and treatment of the animals. Banks then had 10 days to appeal the judgement by the court, subject to an additional $4,200 estimated cost for care and housing of the impounded animals during the appeal process, but she failed to file a timely appeal and the judgement became final, Voigt said.
• Rene Lopez Garza was sentenced by Crawford to 15 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice — Institutional Division, with 119 days credit, for six counts of possessing child porn with intent to promote with an offense date of May 18. The charge is a third-degree felony, carrying with it a prison sentence ranging from 2-to-10 years for each count for a first-time offender.
• Eric Louis Martinez was sentenced to five years deferred adjudication and restitution of $3,570 as well as a $1,000 fine and $340 in court costs for an aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury dating back to Nov. 13, 2021.